This HQ is ready to play
It’s rare that you find a building so truly ‘at one’ with the landscape that it is practically built within it. This is the HQ of gaming company Giant Interactive Group. It looks a little like a space-age, futuristic version of the Tellytubby house, built within the lush green hills in Shanghai.
Steel and concrete green-roofed village
Designed by Morphosis Architects, it undulates, rises and falls just as the land does, a steel and concrete green-roofed village almost camouflaged in parts, hidden amongst the surrounding canals.
But it’s much more than just a corporate HQ. Work for Giant and this will be your home-from-home.
The remote location means it’s both work, rest and play for many of the company’s employees. The ‘East’ wing is the place where the business happens, whilst the ‘West’ wing is the R&R zone – gym, clubhouse, restaurant and bar.
Tall, cantilevered squashed ‘box’
In between all this are even more places – libraries, auditoriums, plazas and walkways and even a jetty leading to a man-made lake – where workers can interact. What sticks out above everything else however is the tall, cantilevered squashed ‘box’ at one end of the campus, which looks like someone built it then changed their mind and screwed it up.
Inside this self-collapsing box is more office space, a suite and a private boardroom – featuring a spectacular all-glass floor below which is the lake. You’d better not be afraid of water – or heights for that matter – if you have to attend a meeting here.
The futuristic elements are everywhere in this building, from sharp, angled interior edges to softer, more rounded touches which include strange-shaped, gloopy orbs oozing down from the ceiling. They’re not just for show – they’re actually a clever way to disguise pipes and various other unsightly building ‘innards’ from view.
Office HQ where you can truly escape from reality
So do we like it? Well, as it’s the HQ of one of China’s leading online game developers and operators (they specialise in mass-multiplayer games), it couldn’t really be anything too ordinary. In a virtual world fantasy is everything and let’s face it, here you can truly escape from reality.
Author: Liz Wilson Date Written: 12 April 2012